Welcome friends, to another edition of Newsbytes. This collection of quick arcade-related news items should tide you over until the next story of the week. We’ve had an interesting week of stories at that, starting with a new light-gun game, then the release of Centipede Chaos and the sighting of a new Frogger arcade game. Let’s see how next week works out!
E3 And The Continued Rise Of Home Arcade Machines
For people who want to have an arcade machine at home, but don’t want to deal with maintaining a 30/40+ year old game, more than one company has come to the rescue with mini-arcade cabinets and licensed software. Arcade 1up has been at the forefront of this effort, with consumers being able to find their machines in the video game aisles of Wal-Mart and other retailers.
With E3 taking place this week, the company was there to show off shiny new licenses, which showcased three titles: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the Konami original and Turtles In Time), Marvel Superheroes/X-Men: Children of the Atom/The Punisher and Atari Star Wars (which will feature all three Atari arcade releases). Two videos for those:
— The Pop Insider (@thepopinsider) June 12, 2019
They aren’t alone in the mini-arcade or home arcade craze, as AtGames (creators of many of the mini consoles out there, including previous iterations of the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and several Atari Flashback consoles) has their sights on the home market with the upcoming Legends Ultimate machine. I have a hunch that they wanted to call this Arcade Legends, but Chicago Gaming has already been using that for well over a decade on their own full-sized multigame collection. Between Arcade 1up and this AtGames unit though, I think Chicago Gaming is going to have a tough time here forward since the MSRP on Arcade Legends 3 is still $2995 (it comes with 135 games, while Legends Ultimate will come with 350 and have an online streaming service and will cost $399 or $599 depending on the model). The streaming service is being compared to the Google Stadia, although there’s no way that this would hog up even a 10th of the bandwidth that Stadia will from the promises.
At that, everyone might be wondering why this and the Pac-Man’s Pixel Bash cost several times more for less games and features. Granted the Pixel Bash gets an advantage with the coin-op model; the Chill model is also a bit less than the $3k mark and comes with a mini-fridge. Anyways, more details about the Legends Ultimate are found in this video showing the game at E3:
Before we leave the subject of E3, Konami also created some arcade props to showcase their upcoming console entry into the Contra series, Rogue Corps. I really doubt that this is a prelude to an arcade edition of the game(H/T to Kevin Williams for the pic – he also provided the names of the gentlemen in the pic [L] Contra producer Shinya Nakazato [R] Illustrator Emilio Lopez), it’s just a hat tip of their own to Contra’s initial history in arcades.
Darkula – An Original Game To Put Into A Home Arcade Cab
And still on the subject of home arcades, hat tip to Simon Carless for mentioning this free game by Locomalito called Darkula. This was designed to be like a single screen platformer arcade game from 1983 and you can even download cabinet artwork from this page. Apart from the smoothness, this would have been right at home in a Golden Age arcade. It’s also worth noting that Locomalito is behind the upcoming arcade port of Super Hydorah AC to the EXA.
Sega Darts Introduces Ninja Trainer In Japan
It’s been a while, but you might recall that Sega has a darts gaming division. Their main product is called Darts Live, which has found it’s way to the USA in the past, including a limited-time run on Darts of the Dead. Well now they are taking it a step further by innovating the traditional dart game with Ninja Trainer. No darts here, instead the player uses shurikens! Granted, they are soft, but the quality looks great and that’s probably better in the long run for liability to the location. The Sega model you’ll see below appears to be a variation of a home game, modified for commercial use. Whether this would show up here in the West it’s hard to say, but with axe throwing becoming a big thing, I don’t see why soft shurikens should fare any differently:
— セガ公式アカウント (@SEGA_OFFICIAL) June 13, 2019
Round 1 USA Adds Street Fighter V Type Arcade To Their Line-up
Round 1 USA is one of the few arcade chains to still give some love to fighters, and they are showing that dedication by bringing Street Fighter V Type Arcade to “select locations.” Whether it will roll out to all of them remains to be seen, but I’m curious to know how it performs – I’ve heard through the grapevine that it hasn’t been doing so hot in Japan due to input lag/latency issues and not really being anything special compared to the console edition. HOWEVER, after publishing this, I’ve heard that no one who has played it at Round1USA already noticed any issues with said input lag, so could be just initial (but since corrected) problems that I heard about on the Japanese side.
Now available ONLY at Round1 locations. Connect your console player ID to use your own character skins. You can also bring your own USB controller for perfect performance. (Now available at select Round1 locations) pic.twitter.com/GiCeBISozR
— Round1 USA (@Round1USA) June 13, 2019
Neogeo World From 1996
Shifting gears is something that was posted to YouTube back in April, but has been amplified by a few difference Western sources, namely John Andersen on Twitter. This is a look at Neogeo World in 1996 – a full-blown FEC/theme park that in many ways feels like Round 1 USA. You gotta love the odd go karts/bumper car track they had going on:
John also shared this video of the 1997 AOU show in Japan (posted to YouTube by the same user, Kukun Kun) that shows off the arrival of Atari Games’ San Francisco Rush in Japan and the introduction of the Neo Geo 64 arcade system (which failed to capture the market quite like the MVS did):
Update To Ace Angler In Japan
I’m not sure if Bandai Namco is still selling their fishing videmption game Ace Angler here in the states, but over in Japan it’s still popular. This video shows off some new features of the latest edition with a new creature to catch (If you hadn’t heard of Ace Angler before, it set itself apart by using realistic fishing rod controllers, while most fishing games these days just use a joystick):
Restoring/Improving Atari System 1 Games
I spent a lot of time this week working on converting an old Capcom big blue cabinet (it had been running NFL Blitz) over to a Primal Rage, but where I’m not exactly trained in the art of woodworking and what not, I’m sure someone else could have done a better job (that said I am happy with the result). So when I see things like the photo below, I have a real appreciation for the amount of work and skill it took to get these machines looking new. This was posted to a Facebook page called Arcade Restoration, and were done by a collector by the name of Jeff Kinder. By the post, he spent a year working on these, using artwork obtained from This Old Game. Awesome work Jeff! (H/T to Arcade Hunters for the find)
That’s all I’ve managed to curate for today. Have a great weekend and have fun!